I haven’t written in days (weeks?). Possibly because I’ve hit the sludge point, doing nothing but waiting, exhausted, over it, for Harlan to get home from New York on Monday. It will be his most momentous return ever! Because I’ve played single mom for seven whole weeks. I did it before, when boo was around seven months old, but somehow it was easier that time. Was it shorter? Can’t remember. Must have been. He was still sleeping in our bed for a chunk of it. Then I did sleep training and suddenly he was only getting up once a night. Harlan didn’t have as complex a relationship with him yet at that time, so it was easier for him. In any case, this time is killing us. All of us. Except boo, who seems quite content to have a zombie mom and a dad who lives in a computer.
What can I write about? Uh, we’re taking swimming lessons. In fact I have to leave in something like four minutes to get there on time…good deadline! Actually I can probably leave in 14 minutes and be okay. I’m schlepping to the VALLEY because my friend Emily is the Water Whisperer and I wasn’t finding classes on the Westside and she offers a two-week intensive so I finally just said wtf. Boo is loving it except for submersions. We did it the first day and he cried his little eyes out and I felt terrible and went away thinking it might not be such a good idea to force him to go under water. I mean, my whole deal as a mom is not forcing him to do anything, letting him be and not imposing my desires upon him. And here I forced him to dunk his head underwater. He cried hysterically, and then I forced him to do it two more times.
I talked to my RIE teacher about it and she said she was totally opposed to the practice. She said babies love water, so she thinks it’s wrong to do something that would give them a negative association with it. Plus, I’m forcing him to do something unpleasant, and if that isn’t enough, there’s a trust issue since it’s me forcing him to dunk. All of that rang true to me. That night I google searched “submersion baby swim classes” and found out it’s one of those incredibly divisive issues. I read a load of for’s and against’s, talked to Harlan on the phone about my terrible guilt, and yesterday I opted out of submersions, even though Emily encouraged me to do it. Said they only hate it the first few times, then they get used to it and learn to swim much more quickly. I get that, but I also think I’ll be able to talk him through it better when he’s a bit older, explain it to him so I’m not just forcing him to do some horrible thing he doesn’t understand. I’m fine with waiting. He’ll learn how to dunk the next time he takes swimming lessons. My babysitter, Lindsay, who used to teach swimming, says he’ll go underwater voluntarily by next summer. I think this is like every other parenting issue: it comes down to your gut and my gut says, “Don’t do it. No dunking. Not for my baby angel.”
What else? Working up to night weaning, I’m not bringing him into my bed anymore. Just nursing him in the rocking chair and putting him back in his crib. That seems to be working alright. He doesn’t know the difference, even though I miss sleeping with his little body wrapped around mine and waking up to his sweet smiling face. Worth it I guess. Also going back to feeding him on a blanket on the floor and only feeding him there, not letting him wander with sandwiches in his fist and shoving applesauce in his face as he roams around the living room. I haven’t stopped feeding him crackers and rice cakes on the go, though. If he’s hungry between meals, I just have to feed him. This little boy needs all the food he can get! And I have to stop him from grabbing at my boobs somehow. I suppose I could also write about the fact that he’s walking most of the time now, probably 70-30 walking, with some gleeful crawling in between. We take walks without our stroller and he beams. But isn’t all this a bit boring for those people who aren’t his parents? That’s what I wonder.
Anyhoo, it’s 9:04. We should hit the 405 Valley-bound. Brave mama, rock on, I’ve only got four more days!